Academic and Faculty Affairs Announcements

August 23, 2021

We have received a number of questions following last week’s town hall meeting about expectations for faculty and students this fall. This message is an effort to respond to them.

Instructors who need to miss one or more classes

Instructors who need to miss class due to a sick leave event should make a good faith effort to contact students, and when possible, arrange an alternative learning experience (e.g., assign readings or online exercises, post course materials for students to review asynchronously, or work with your chair/director to identify someone to cover class(es), such as a faculty colleague or teaching assistant).

Instructors should not change the delivery mode of their courses from what is published in the fall 2021 course schedule.

Face covering mandate in academic settings

Students are expected to follow BGSU COVID-19 protocols at all times, which includes wearing a face covering in all classrooms, studios, laboratories and shared office spaces for as long as the face covering mandate is in place. Failure to comply with these protocols may result in disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct. Please refer to the BGSU COVID-19 website for the most current information about expectations and requirements.

Classroom compliance or disruptions

Faculty have broad authority to manage the classroom environment. If inappropriate behavior is occurring, consider a general word of caution to refocus the classroom. If the behavior in question is irritating, but not disruptive, speak with the student after class. If persistent disruptions occur, students may be directed to leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period, told the reason for the action and given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the faculty member as soon as practicable. Call BGSU Police whenever there is a threat of violence or other unlawful behavior, including a student’s refusal to leave the class after being told to do so.

Instructors should not cancel class or switch delivery modes to remote or online because a student refuses to comply with the face covering mandate. We do not want to disrupt the education of students who are in compliance because of the behavior of those who are not. Instead, instructors should ask those students to leave their class and then report the incident via the appropriate online form. They should also call BGSU Police if the student refuses to leave the room.

Holding office hours

Students will have the option to schedule either in-person or virtual meetings with faculty during posted office hours.

Helping students who miss one or more classes

Instructors should take reasonable measures to minimize the impact of missed classes, as they would have done before the pandemic. Such measures include the posting of lecture presentations and discussion materials in Canvas, engaging students virtually during office hours (or by appointment) to discuss course material, and if feasible, uploading recorded lectures. Instructors are not expected to provide students who are unable to attend class with a synchronous virtual option to participate.

Accessibility Services process for reviewing requests for accommodation

The information Accessibility Services reviews to determine a student’s eligibility for accommodations contains confidential, protected medical information. For that reason, that office cannot publish guidelines regarding who is or is not eligible for accommodations or what accommodations would be appropriate. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.

If an approved accommodation by Accessibility Services prohibits student participation in an in-person class, alternative solutions are typically considered in the following order: 1) identify a remote or online section of the same class; 2) in consultation with an advisor and the college or academic unit, identify an equivalent class in a remote or online format that will allow the student to make progress toward their degree; and as a final option, 3) Accessibility Services will request that the instructor provide virtual access to allow the student to complete the course. Accessibility Services, working with the instructor and ITS, would then collaborate to develop a technological solution that works for all parties.

You can find the most up-to-date information about BGSU’s COVID-19 protocols on the University's FAQ page.

Thank you for all you are doing to prepare to meet the needs of BGSU’s students this fall.

Regards,

Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

You are invited to attend the Class of 2025 Convocation Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on the Bowen-Thompson Quadrangle. Convocation is the official BGSU welcome for the Class of 2025 and highlights the importance of academic excellence, innovation, integrity and discovery – all the things that make the BG experience so unique. Your attendance contributes to the sense of belonging which is one of the reasons students choose BGSU.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to register to attend, as seating is limited. Please dress in BGSU business casual – lots of orange! There will be a designated seating area upon arrival, as there will be no processional. Please note that in the case of inclement weather, Convocation will be held at the Stroh Center.

Register to attend, seats are limited ➜

If you cannot attend the in-person event, we encourage you to tune into the livestream.

Thank you for all you are doing to support our students.

ITS has not provided Scantron processing since March 2020, when the institution moved much of its teaching operations to a remote format.

In the summer of 2020, as part of the pandemic responses, ITS lost staff due to the university’s workforce reduction, including members of the Service Desk team that previously processed Scantrons. As a result, ITS can no longer offer the same level of Scantron processing support as previous years. 

After consulting with the Provost and Vice Provost, ITS is offering instructors the following two options for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Option 1: ITS Processing of Scantrons 

Scantron forms may be dropped off to ITS for processing; however, due to the reduction in staff, ITS is unable to guarantee a turnaround time.

  • Instructors contact the ITS service desk to obtain the combination for a drop-off locker.  
  • Instructors deposit Scantron sheets and answer key in the Hayes Hall drop-off locker assigned.  
  • ITS processes the Scantron sheets in Hayes Hall 114 and emails instructors when ready for pickup.
    • Instructors will receive all standard Scantron-generated report types and raw data file with no data manipulation. 
    • Instructors are responsible for any additional data manipulation beyond the standard reports; use of secondary keys or weight keys will require manual data manipulation in the raw data file.  
    • Results will remain available in SharePoint for 30 days, after which they will be deleted. 

Option 2: Instructor / Instructor Designee Processing of Scantrons 

If a guaranteed return time is needed, instructors may process their own Scantron sheets or have their designee process them.  Designees cannot be undergraduate students.  The Scantron device will be in Hayes Hall 114 during ITS support hours. ITS will provide a one-time training for the instructor or designee. 

  • Instructors contact ITS to schedule a one-time training session for the Scantron device.
    • Instructors or designees come to Hayes Hall 114 to process Scantron sheets.  
      • Please note – Hayes Hall 114 is a shared work environment.  ITS staff may be working and/or assisting other clients in this space.  
      • Instructors will receive all standard Scantron generated report types and a raw data file.  
    • Instructors are responsible for bringing a flash drive to store the reports; the scanning computer is not connected to the network.  
    • Instructors are responsible for any data manipulation that is required; use of secondary keys or weight keys will require manual data manipulation of the raw data file. 
  • ITS will provide documentation in Hayes Hall 114 should the instructor or designee require additional support or reference.

Recently, President Rogers announced that BGSU is planning to resume fully in-person classes and activities and experiences for our students this fall. As a result, the majority of courses that were scheduled to be taught in “Remote” or “Blended" delivery modes will be converted to “In-Person.”

There will be no changes to the days and times that courses meet. Please keep in mind that minor changes to the course schedule may still occur over the summer, as they would normally.

You will begin seeing changes to the mode of delivery starting tomorrow. We anticipate that all changes to mode of delivery will be finalized by Tuesday, June 15. If you need to adjust your schedule after that date, please log on to MyBGSU or ask an advisor for assistance.

If a student has a documented disability that prevents them from engaging in face-to-face activities, they should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 419-372-8495 to request an accommodation. Requests will be reviewed via an interactive process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and University policies.

We are excited to see students on campus this fall!
Sincerely,


Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

As previously released, the BGSU 2021-22 Academic Calendar is available online. Fall semester classes begin on Thursday, August 26, 2021. Winter session will not be held and is cancelled for 2021-22.

Additionally, we are excited to inform the University community of the BGSU 2022-2023 Academic Calendar. Fall semester classes begin on Monday, August 22, 2022.

I appreciate all of those who were involved in developing the 2022-23 Academic Calendar.

Regards,

Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

This joint communication provides information regarding a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding: Regarding Academic Analytics Data.

The BGSU Faculty Association and the Office of the Provost agree that analytics describing research activity, such as those produced by Academic Analytics (AA), can be useful tools to identify and enumerate university strengths, promote institutional self-awareness, and establish goals for building and maintaining areas of excellence. AA data will be available to individual BUFM upon request, the accuracy of AA data may be reviewed and questioned by BUFM, and AA data will not be used as a punitive tool to assess BUFMs or deprive BUFMs or units of resources.

The University and the BGSU Faculty Association felt it appropriate to memorialize our understanding in a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on May 17, 2021.

Regards,

Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs


david jackson

David Jackson, Ph.D.
President, BGSU Faculty Association

This joint communication provides information regarding a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding: Regarding Student Evaluations of Teaching and Merit Assessments for Academic Year 2020-2021.

The BGSU Faculty Association and the Office of the Provost desire to foster a pedagogical atmosphere of innovation in instructional materials. Academic unit merit policies (written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) frequently include thresholds based on average scores from student evaluation of teaching. The three-year rolling average used for annual merit scores mitigates individual year anomalies.

BUFM may include an explanatory memorandum with their Academic Year 2020-2021 merit dossier explaining challenges faced in the design and delivery of courses during the pandemic, innovations tried, and an assessment of what worked well or not to explain any lower than expected student evaluations. Merit review committees and chairs/directors may temporarily suspend strict adherence to merit thresholds. Chairs/Directors and BUFM’s will discuss options for professional development for scores resulting in “unacceptable” after application of the three-year rolling average.

The University and the BGSU Faculty Association felt it appropriate to memorialize our understanding in a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on April 28, 2021.

Regards,

Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

david jackson

David Jackson, Ph.D.
President, BGSU Faculty Association

This message is a reminder that a final examination should be given, during finals week, in all courses where appropriate. In cases where a final examination may not be appropriate, such as a graduate seminar, an alternate means of assessing student comprehension or mastery of material may be chosen.

For courses delivered remotely or in-person, the final examination is administered during the scheduled examination period based on the schedule grid. Best practice for online asynchronous courses allows students at least 12-24 hours to complete a timed, final exam. There are numerous tools available in Canvas to facilitate this while ensuring the integrity of the exam. This flexibility will help students in different time zones, with technological or other constraints at home.

Please keep BGSU students in mind as you finalize and communicate your plans for finals week.

Regards,

Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

We hope this email finds you well as we continue to navigate our collective COVID-19 reality with resolve and hope. We know this past year has been difficult for everyone and has required us to rethink and relearn on multiple fronts, and we have all been stretched in so many ways. As faculty administrators, demonstrating your commitment to inclusive leadership is more important than ever given that our sense of community has been mainly consigned to screen-to-screen engagement. This limited engagement has brought out additional issues and challenges related to inclusivity that may be more difficult to handle than when we are face-to-face with each other.

Many of you participated in our BGSU Allies training in August 2019 on The Six Traits of Inclusive Leadership, where you were introduced to the Inclusive Leadership traits: Cognizance of Bias, Curiosity, Cultural Competence, Collaboration, Courage and Humility and Commitment. You were also encouraged to create your individual Inclusive Leader Action Plans. We expect that reflecting on those actions in your plans might be helpful now as you look to guide your faculty and staff through the remainder of this ever-changing AY 2020-2021 and into a new semester next fall.

To assist you, the BGSU ALLIES team has compiled a curated set of online resources on the project's website. These resources include the materials from our fall 2019 Six Traits of Inclusive Leadership and Expanding Your Network workshops, documents on allyship, bystander intervention strategies and racial justice, and strategies for mitigating inequitable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check them out!

In July 2021, the BGSU ALLIES team will offer another iteration of our popular half-day Allyship for Faculty Administrators workshop, which we last ran in July 2019. If you are new to your administrator role or missed the chance to participate in 2019, we encourage you to look for our call for applications for this summer’s virtual workshop later this semester. You can also email us for more information at allies@bgsu.edu.

Finally, we are working on online training programs for faculty and faculty administrators that will be available as a resource in the future, providing opportunities for self-paced learning to further develop your inclusive leadership skills.
The BGSU ALLIES Inclusive Leadership Team is committed to supporting you in the vital work that you do as inclusive leaders. Do not hesitate to reach out to any of us at any time.

Sincerely,

The BGSU ALLIES Inclusive Leadership Team:

Associate Professor Sheila Roberts, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Associate Professor Susana Pena, Director, School of Cultural and Critical Studies
Professor Deborah O’Neil, Management
Professor Julie Matuga, School of Educational Foundations, Leadership & Policy
Professor Michael Zickar, Psychology
Professor Michael Ogawa, Vice President for Research and Economic Engagement

As we continue our work to engage and support each student, together our faculty and staff recognize that this educational approach occurs both inside and out of the classroom.

In an effort to better align and integrate academic and student affairs, the Division of Student Affairs dual reported to me shortly after I arrived at Bowling Green State University in January 2019. Our historic strength in student affairs has provided a strong foundation for our student experience. These staff members are key to not just ensuring our efforts are linked to life design moving forward, but through their constant work, they provide such an empowering experience for our students. As we continue to strive to build a more efficient and effective University, I want to share several organizational changes.

Jodi Webb, associate vice president for student affairs, will now report directly to Dr. Glenn Davis, vice provost for academic affairs. She will continue to lead and be responsible for the direction and day-to-day functions of the Division of Student Affairs.

To provide for more collaboration and intentionality, we are elevating our student engagement efforts to have a more comprehensive impact. These areas, including campus activities, fraternity and sorority life, on- and off-campus student engagement and resident advisor engagement and training, will now be led by Dr. Brian Heilmeier in his new role as director of student engagement. Brian will report to Jodi Webb and will also provide leadership of Falcon Media, which will transition from the School of Media and Communication in the coming months.

Dr. Josh Lawrie, director of residence life, will continue to report to Jodi Webb, and he will oversee our residential facilities and operations, housing and administration, resident advisor operations and our housing services related to our conferences.

Chris Bullins, dean of students, will also continue to report to Jodi Webb, and he will be responsible for student conduct, crisis and emergency services, student case management and off-campus services such as our town-gown relationships. In addition, he will also assume responsibility for the academic honesty process, and he will liaison with Student Legal Services.

While these processes and structures will transition throughout the spring semester, reporting and supervision changes will take effect this Monday.

These organizational changes in Student Affairs have also allowed us to think and act more broadly.
Our spirit programs such as Freddie and Frieda Falcon and our cheer and dance teams will join SICSIC and report to Dr. Jacob Clemens, director of the C. Raymond Marvin Center for Student Leadership in the Division of Diversity and Belonging. We remain committed to honoring these storied traditions.

Since starting his position, Ben Batey, chief health officer, has led our response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. With each day, we are a step closer to being on the other side of this crisis. As we continue to build out a comprehensive portfolio, the Division of Health and Wellness, led by Ben, will include the Office of Accessibility Services, Counseling Center, Wellness Connection, Office of Student Insurance and liaison with Falcon Heath.

I am appreciative that our staff members remain flexible and adaptable to be repositioned to meet the needs of our students. To be clear, this restructuring does not eliminate any full- or part-time positions. This reorganization is another example of how we continue to meet our students where they are, while remaining committed to being efficient and effective.

Regards,

Joe Whitehead signature

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs